Perfect Homemade Apple Pie

Perfect Homemade Apple Pie

Perfect homemade apple pie and one of my favourite recipes, it makes for an incredibly comforting dessert. Layers of sweet apples mixed with cinnamon and vanilla, baked to perfection in a buttery sweet shortcrust pastry.



Don’t be discouraged about making this recipe if it’s your first time. Beginner or pro, the sweet shortcrust pastry is easy to make by hand or in a food processor and the filling comes together really quickly. Plus, I have included some step-by-step instructions and pictures for both recipe posts.

I personally love to combine different varieties of apples when making this pie. I look for varieties with a firm flesh that will hold up during baking, there is nothing worse than a mushy filling. Here are a few of my favourites: Granny Smiths have a slight tartness, while Gala, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Braeburn and Pink Lady all have a sweet bite to them giving a balance of acidity and sweetness.

For some weeks now, I have really been looking forward to making a pastry dessert to try out my new embossed rolling pin that was given to me by some lovely friends from Germany. I used it to decorate the lattice topping of the pie, and I think it came out really well. What do you think?

Serve with some vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of salted caramel for the ultimate dessert!

For some alternative flavour ideas check out my variations section for suggestions.

If you decide to give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment below and rate it – it’s really helpful to me and the other readers. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #thegourmetlarder on Instagram. I love seeing what you come up with! 🙂


RECIPE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ease: a little more advanced. Making pastry is time consuming, but a little care and patience and you will find it enjoyable. 
  • Diet: nut free. For dairy-free and sugar-free options please check my substitution section.
  • Great for: Sunday lunch dessert, family and friend’s gatherings, thanksgiving, Christmas time.
  • Taste and texture: sweet apples with warm cinnamon spice and vanilla, in buttery sweet shortcrust pastry.
  • Makes: 12 slices.
  • Serve: delicious with cream or vanilla custard or ice cream and caramel sauce.

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    INGREDIENTS

    For this recipe all you need are these ingredients:

    • Sweet shortcrust pastry – is a sweet buttery pastry dough, that is crisp and matches perfectly with the tender apple filling. It’s easy to make at home. but if you are in a hurry, you can grab a ready-made packet at the shops.
    • Apples – It’s best to use a variety of apples for this recipe. I recommend using half tart and half sweet.
    • Lemon juice – helps stop the apples going brown during preparation and adds a little sharpness to the filling.
    • Brown sugar – I like to use brown sugar as it adds a caramel note to the pie. You can also use caster or granulated sugar if you prefer. I also use it to sprinkle on the top of the pie to give the pastry a sweet crunch once baked.
    • Pure vanilla extract or paste – really adds that extra flavour to the pie.

    Vanilla recommendations: pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste.

    • Flour – is used to help absorb the apple juices, stopping leaks and the pastry bottom getting soggy.
    • Ground cinnamon – adds a delicious flavour, if you are not so keen on cinnamon check out my variations section for ideas.
    • Egg – gives us that beautiful shine to the baked pastry and allows the sugar decoration to stick.

    TIP: I highly recommend adding salt to your doughs and pastry. Salt helps balance out the sweetness and richness. It also elevates the other ingredients, bring out the best characteristics of any recipe.


    SUBSTITUTIONS

    I would love to know how you get on and share it with the other readers.

    SUGAR-FREE AND LOW-CALORIE OPTIONS

    • Brown sugar suggestions: Pure Via Baker’s soft brown sugar or Sukrin Gold’s natural brown sugar alternative.

    GLUTEN-FREE OPTIONS

    VEGAN OPTIONS

    • Egg-free version: the egg can be omitted or replaced with non-dairy milk.

    WHAT VARIATIONS CAN I MAKE?

    There is no harm in using this recipe as a guide and adapting it according to your own personal taste. Here are a few suggestions:

    • Alternative fruit – try replacing some of the apples with pears or mix in some blackberries or cranberries.
    • Spice variations – I also like cloves, nutmeg, ginger and allspice to add different characteristics to my pie. Try them individually or as a combination. Replace the 2 teaspoons of cinnamon in the recipe with your alternative spice or combine a 1/4 teaspoon of each.
    • Adding dried fruit – sultanas, candied lemon and orange peel pieces make great additions to this pie. I like to soak the fruit in some calvados and water to rehydrate them before. Place 100g dried fruit into a small bowl with two shots of calvados and enough water to just cover them. If you don’t want to use calvados, simply use water only. Once your apple filling is ready, drain the fruit and stir the dried fruit into the apples.
    • Caramel apple pie – Spoon 3 tablespoons of my caramel sauce on top the fruit filling in the pie.

    If you experiment, I would love to know how you get on and share it with the other readers.


    NUTRITION

    Serving: one slice

    Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, or the source of nutrition data.

    I strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy.

    I encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

    apple pie

    STORAGE

    Store this apple pie covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. Simply reheat at a low oven temperature until warm.

    Freezing: Unbaked or baked freeze up to 2 months. Partially thaw the pie at room temperature for about 1 1/2 hours, then bake as per the recipe. The pastry and filling can also be made in advance or frozen separately to make at a later date.

    © THE GOURMET LARDER. All images and content are copyright protected. Do not use my images without prior permission. Further information can be found in my FAQ’s.


    TOOLS YOU’LL NEED

    Here are some kitchen tools that I use and recommend for this recipe.

    TIP: If you have ever ended up with dry, dense or crumbly baked goods, it might be because you’re using inaccurate measurements. I highly recommend using metric measurements and a digital scale, rather than cup measurements for example. You will find it much easier, less messy and you will get far better, consistent results weighing your ingredients. 🙂


    © THE GOURMET LARDER. All images and content are copyright protected. Do not use my images without prior permission. Further information can be found in my FAQ’s.


    RECIPE TIPS

    • Pastry prep – Make sure to chill your eggs and place your butter in the freezer as per my recommendations on making sweet shortcrust pastry.
    • Don’t overwork the dough – when bringing all the ingredients together, this just activates the gluten and creates tough pastry.
    • Embossing – If you have a rolling pin for embossing you can use it to decorate the top piece of the pastry as I have done. It is easy to make, just use your regular rolling pin to get the pastry dough to the thickness you require and then use the embossing roller to make the final roll giving the pattern.
    • Baking – To avoid your pie browning too quickly in the oven, place a piece of aluminium foil around the top of the baking dish or make a tent. A tent is simply the name given to folding a long sheet of foil in half and placing it over the top of your pie like a tent.
    • Advanced preparation – Both the pastry dough and the filling can be made a day or two in advance.

    READY TO MAKE YOUR APPLE PIE?

    Apple Pie

    Apple Pie

    Preparation:25 minutes
    Baking:45 minutes
    Chilling:1 hour
    Total:2 hours 10 minutes
    Servings: 12 slices
    Tools you’ll need:
    • 25cm pie dish
    This is my favourite apple pie recipe, and it makes for an incredibly comforting dessert. Layers of sweet apples mixed with cinnamon and vanilla, baked to perfection in buttery sweet shortcrust pastry.

    INGREDIENTS LIST
     

    Sweet pastry

    • 375 g plain (all-purpose) flour
    • 150 g butter
    • 150 g caster sugar
    • 3 medium eggs (55g each)
    • 1 pinch fine sea salt

    Apple pie filling

    • 1 kg apples (8 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 6mm (1/4 inch) slices)
    • 1 whole lemon (juiced)
    • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp of vanilla paste
    • 40 g plain (all-purpose) flour
    • 120 g soft light brown sugar (muscovado) (plus extra for decorating)
    • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 pinch fine sea salt
    • 1 medium egg yolk (beaten for egg wash)

    Preparation
     

    • Pastry: Prepare my sweet shortcrust pastry recipe, making one and a half times the recipe. (I have included the quantities needed above in the ingredients list to make it a little easier.) Follow the instructions for the recipe on the sweet shortcrust pastry blog post. Once made divide the dough in two and form each into equal discs. Wrap each one well in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for an hour or overnight.
      Alternatively, you can buy sweet pastry or pie pastry from the shops.
    • For the filling: Prepare the apples and place them in a large bowl with the juice of a lemon to stop them browning and add the vanilla. Then stir in the flour, sugar and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
      Apple Pie
    • Rolling the pastry: Remove the dough discs from the fridge. On a floured work surface, roll out one of the disks until it is 30cm (12in) in diameter. Place into your pie dish, pressing the dough lightly into the bottom and sides, leaving a slight overhang.
      apple pie
    • Add your apple filling to the dish. Smooth out the surface as much as possible and try to avoid any large voids, as this will cause the pastry top to sag.
      Apple Pie
    • Preheat oven to 170°C fan / 375°F / Gas 5.
    • Pastry lid: Roll the second piece of pastry dough as before into a round. (In addition, I used an embossing rolling pin to mark the pastry.)
      Now you can decide to make a lattice pattern or a classic lid for your pie.
      For the classic version, simply place the rolled pastry on top of the pie and crimp or flute the edges to seal. Cut a few slits into the dough for air vents then sprinkle with a little more brown sugar.
    • For the lattice: Using a ruler and a sharp knife, cut 5 strips, each about a 1-2 cm wide. Then re-roll the pastry a second time and cut another 5 strips the same.
      Carefully transfer the first 5 strips on top the pie filling, then fold back the 2nd and 4th strip to the middle. Lay a new strip across the middle and fold back the bottom strips.
      Apple Pie
    • Fold back the 1st, 3rd and 5th strip on the bottom and lay another new strip across. Fold back the bottom strips.
      Apple pie
    • Fold back the 2nd and 4th stripes again and lay another new strip across returning the bottom stripes back after.
      Apple pie
    • Repeat this process with the opposite side until finally you have a nice lattice pattern on the top.
      apple pie
    • Sealing the edges: I like to use a fork to go around and seal the edges, but you can also crimp or flute the edges.
    • Trim any excess pastry from the edge of the pie.
      apple pie
    • Lightly brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle the top with brown sugar.
      Apple pie
    • Baking: Place the pie on the middle shelf and bake for 45-50 minutes. Check after 20 minutes to see if the edges are not browning too quickly. I usually like to place a piece of aluminium foil loosely over the top to prevent this halfway through the baking.
    • Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before slicing. Store any leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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    KEYWORDS apple pie, apple recipe

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    PLEASE LET ME KNOW HOW IT TURNED OUT FOR YOU!

    If you tried this Apple Pie or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how you got on in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a star rating whilst you’re there!

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    HAPPY BAKING!

    Nigel sig




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